Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890

Author(s): A Darius Spearman

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 162


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The diverse array of characters on the California frontier reveal insightful stories of survival and ingenuity that can be found in Between the Color Lines. This text explores the meaning of the frontier and how frontier life shaped the experiences of African Americans in California. From precolonial Africa and Spain to the closing of the California frontier in 1890, persons of African descent ventured into a dangerous world for the promise of reaping huge rewards. Their unique experience, however, was defined by a frontier setting in which the conventional rules governing social behavior were largely made up along the way. Between the Color Lines also explores how African Americans and the sectional debate over the expansion of slavery shaped California politics.


CHAPTER 1: Introduction: Drawing the Color Lines of California’s Diverse Frontier
“You’re not going to Sonoma...You’re going to ‘So-Nowhere!’”
The Frontier: A (Re)Definition
The Significance of the Frontier

CHAPTER 2: The Path to California: Afro-Latinos and the Spanish Southwest (1711–1769)
In Pursuit of Queen Calafia
“Africa begins south of the Pyrenees”
Within the Color Lines of Spain’s Racial Caste System
A Foothold in Florida
Cortés, Estebanico, and Coronado and Other Expeditions to 1769

CHAPTER 3: New Spain to Mexico (1769–1846)
Spanish-Speaking Blacks in Frontier California
English-Speaking Blacks in Spanish/Mexican California
Frontiers Collide: The Bear Flag Party

CHAPTER 4: Danger and Opportunity (1846–1865)
The Peculiar Case of Nate Harrison
African Americans and the California Constitution
Early African American Migrants in Post-Mexican California

CHAPTER 5: Breaking with Convention (1850–1863)
The Unconventional Life of Mary Ellen Pleasant
Background to the Convention Colored Movement
“Strike, But Hear Me”: The California Conventions of 1855, 1856, and 1857

CHAPTER 6: The Making and Remaking of a Free California (1860–1890)
John Richards and the Making of a Free California
“Emancipation Day”: African Americans and the Civil War in California
(Re)Constructing a Free California: Education and The Vote
Conclusion: The Closing of the California Frontier


A Darius Spearman

Related ISBN's: 9781524981273, 9781792402104




ISBN 9781524981273

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